Sheriff Uvalde’s ex-boss demoted him from a high-ranking position for being ‘difficult’

The sheriff of the school district in Uvalde, Texas, has been in the spotlight for the recent controversial law enforcement response to the Robb Elementary School massacre, which claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers.

However, an emerging report sheds more light on previous difficulties Pedro “Pete” Arredondo experienced while working at other law enforcement agencies.

Eight years before the Robb Elementary School mass shooting, Arredondo was reportedly demoted from assistant chief to chief of staff at the Webb County Sheriff’s Office in 2014, according to a report by San Antonio Express-News.

Reason? Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar said.

“That’s basically what happened,” Cuellar said, according to the news agency. “He has a hard time getting along – with colleagues, especially senior staff. What I basically meant was that he wasn’t a good fit for the level of expertise or the job that I set for him.”


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According to Express-News, records show that Arredondo worked at the Uvalde Police Department from 1993-2009.

“Even in Uvalde PD, when he was there, they didn’t like his[outspokenness],” Cuellar said. “They were hoping he would get a job in Laredo.”

That’s just what Arredondo did, according to the report. He left the Webb County Sheriff’s Office in 2017 to work for the Laredo School District before becoming sheriff at Uvalde School three years later.

However, records show that Uvalde Independent School District may have failed to fully consider Arredondo’s employment history when he was hired as sheriff in 2020.

Should Arredondo be removed from his position?

On February 13, 2020, the school district posted an update on Facebook that it was “proud to present our Sheriff, Pedro ‘Pete’ Arredondo,” and stated that Arredondo can provide “the safety of all our students, staff, and community. “

However, six days later, a human resources coordinator at Uvalde CISD emailed one of Arredondo’s previous employers, the United Independent School District in Laredo, seeking a copy of his service record. him, according to emails obtained by the San Antonio Express-News.

This may be the only place they try to contact, as Cuellar claims that Uvalde CISD has never contacted Cuellar or the Webb County Sheriff’s Office about Arredondo’s performance.

If asked, Cuellar said he would not recommend Arredondo for the job.


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“I don’t think I’ll make it, based on the performance,” Cuellar said. “If Uvalde were to ask the right questions, especially about the leadership, the senior positions, I would say, ‘I don’t think (Arredondo) is capable of running even a small department.’ But they never asked.”

“They do investigations based on, ‘Hey, I worked here, I worked there.’ But then they never asked us. To do a good, clear background on someone, they need to ask the sheriff. I was honest with them and said, ‘Hey, this is why he was demoted. Basically, he doesn’t fit my criteria to be a leader. ‘”

More than two years later, on May 24, 2022, Arredondo will be the one to make the fateful decision not to immediately confront the shooter at Robb Elementary.

With many outraged by his decisions regarding the situation, Texas House lawmakers began an investigation into his handling of the shooting, calling Arredondo’s suspension decision a a “terrible, tragic mistake,” the New York Post reported.

But Arredondo defended his choice, claiming that he mistakenly thought of the gunman as an “obstacle subject” and that he was unaware that there were children in the room.

Arredondo has remained on unpaid leave since June. Fox News reports that a termination hearing to decide his police career has been delayed twice.

This article originally appeared in Western Magazine.

We are committed to honesty and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.


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